From the ages of 18 to 23, I worked for a government agency as an interpreter. I was well-liked by many of my coworkers and my first supervisor was appreciative of me. I was very good at my job and even cross-trained in many other areas that didn’t “pertain to my job”. However, at that job, I was also bullied and discriminated against for being Latina. I was also slut-shamed by my second supervisor and coworkers the latter 2 years I was there. I don’t want to say I deserved being slut-shamed but I’ll just say that I trusted the wrong coworkers with my private life and they went on to gossip about me to everyone. It was also a very stressful environment because of the work I did and clients I had to interact with. My depression and anxiety went haywire. In 2003, I decided to enroll in my local community college and major in English. In 2004, I was trying to go to school full time, work full time, and deal with my child’s new autism diagnosis. I was breaking down mentally and something had to give so I quit this job. I was fucking done. And this poem was inspired by that moment. I thought I had processed this trauma until it came back up in therapy in the summer of 2021. I didn’t realize it at the time but I had suffered a deep racial trauma that impacted me and still triggered reactions in me. I was angry. There is actually way more to this story and one day I’ll share it when I’m ready.
This was the hardest thing I did
but it had to be done
I couldn’t stand the gossip
or the two faces of everyone
the way they pretended to be my friend
but the minute I turned my back to them
they talked like I was the biggest wench
so much envy and hate
I HAVE TO ESCAPE
FROM THIS MISERABLE FATE!
so today I resigned
I didn’t tell them why
all I know is that for the first time
in a really long time
I feel something like happy
so long to the only place I have known
for an almost five year term
for once I breathe a sigh of relief
I finally had the courage to leave
so long to the hypocrisy of this place
to let myself stay here for another day
would only be a fucking waste
I knew I wanted to write a post for Borderline Personality Awareness month, but I didn’t know it would be this post-about having suicidal ideation once again. It’s hard to write about this since I haven’t been here since last summer. Here is a place where I want to do everything or anything to stop the intense emotional turmoil and pain, I’m in. Here is a place where I write dark poetry about ways to end it all. I mean my poetry got so dark; Sylvia Plath would have been proud of me. Here is a place where I cry multiple times a day and any little thing is a trigger, and my coworkers start asking me if I’m okay. Here is a place where it feels like none of the healthy coping mechanisms (writing, music, keeping busy, talking to friends, mindfulness, long walks in nature, etc.) are working and I started to wonder what the point of it all is. What’s worse about this happening this time around was that there was no tragedy or life changing circumstance to trigger these feelings of wanting to die. If I had to pinpoint the trigger of this major depressive episode, it was as simple as upping the dosage of my mood stabilizer. Now, I was already in a low mood since last week because my quality of sleep had gone to shit lately so last week, I asked my medical provider to up the dosage on my mood stabilizer that I take at night to sleep. I was also working an extra shift at my second job, so I was more tired than usual.
On Monday night, I started on the new dosage and on Tuesday morning I woke in a state of extreme anger and agitation. I’ve been here many times before but this time it felt different. Everything and everyone annoyed me to the point that I wrote some really mean and cruel poetry and played my ANGRY AF playlist on repeat. This was the alternative to what I really wanted to do, which was to punch walls or smash something to bits and pieces. I also imploded on myself and went into self-hate mode where I hated my brain chemistry, my BPD, and well basically myself. Being in this negative mindset felt like several steps backwards based on all the progress I’ve made and that made me spiral even more. I cried at lunch that day. I went to my second job and felt fine after.
On Wednesday, I felt I was in a better mood and thought I was in control of my emotions. I even wrote a poem about how my therapist was so instrumental in helping me. Then the afternoon came, and I got a rejection email from a grant I applied for that really hit me straight in the gut. Once again, I was extremely angry and agitated. And I almost went into my “I’m going to be reactive AF” mode. However, I was able to stop myself. I headed to my second job and cried on and off the first two hours of work while I was stocking. Luckily, I reached out to my friend “K” through text and she was responsive. Also, I was closely working with my supervisor the latter part of the night so that kept my mind busy. I ended up going to sleep later than I’m used to and woke up on Thursday a complete and utter emotional mess. Because of the state I was in, I made the responsible decision not to drive that day, but I still went to work. For the first two hours at work, I cried, and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. My coworkers kept asking me if I was okay and I lied and said I had a raging headache. I’m not completely out to the whole office yet about my BPD or all my mental health issues. Maybe they bought the lie or maybe they didn’t. Throughout the morning, I tried my best to practice mindfulness to calm down and it helped a little. Then I had a second cup of coffee and that did the trick because I was finally able to be coherent enough to chat with a couple of my coworkers. I want to think that my “masking skills” from the past really helped in making my coworkers not suspect how much of an emotional mess I was. I reached out to my friend “K” once again and other friends and they were all responsive so that helped. And then lunchtime came, and the dark and intrusive thoughts came out in my poetry, and I cried a lot. I guess getting the worst of it out helped because my mood improved in the afternoon. I decided to clean up and organize my office. I made a list of tasks to occupy me at work for the next few days. I made a separate list of tasks I wanted to accomplish in my personal life. I also decided to do something kind for myself and signed up for swimming lessons since I never learned how to swim. I went to my second job and that also kept me busy which helped me tremendously. On Friday, I woke up in a much better mood and drove to work. I felt this huge sense of relief, but I finally felt like I was back to what is now my normal optimistic and confident self. This sent me into a bit of euphoria that got me side eye from one of my coworkers. Lol. Okay, I know it’s kind of ridiculous for a middle-aged woman to get excited at the supermarket over cuatro leches cake and a sour patch energy drink but damn after a 3-day suicidal ideation episode, it’s the little things that count. I took the terrible experience as another way to learn about myself and maybe try more preventive measures next time I switched meds or upped a dosage.
I learned that my mental health was declining when I started listening to the same angry or sad song over and over again. I don’t know how many times I listened to “That’s Hilarious” by Charlie Puth last week. I also learn that when I’m in the worst of it, I need to listen to the “Fuck Love “album by The Kid LAROI. Don’t ask me why, something in my brain finds his teenage angst and anger comforting. I also learned how I dissociate during these episodes. It was like a watching this train wreck of emotions take over my body and mind and not being able to do much about it. It was difficult and scary to experience. The best thing I did was keep going to work at both jobs no matter what. I feel like this kept me busy enough from spiraling even further. Also, planning something to look forward to like scheduling swimming lessons was extremely helpful. Reaching out to friends about how I was feeling bad and getting their love and encouragement helped me as well. And of course, understanding that the feelings of hopelessness and despair won’t last forever and honoring those feelings through journaling and writing poetry is important. For some reason, documenting what’s going on helps me process and get through an episode like this quicker. When I get into a major depressive episode that causes suicidal ideation, it gets scary and lonely. Having a diagnosis like borderline personality disorder makes me 1 in 10 people who could give in to that hopelessness and take action to take my own life. Even at my worst, there is a voice inside of me that is determined not to be that 1 in 10 because well, I’m too awesome to die. Also, if anything else, I don’t want to do that to my children and leave them with that trauma. I’m proud of how I handled this depressive episode. I listened to myself and used all the resources I had to get over it quicker. I remember that last year and the year before then, I had many of these episodes and would either try to drink it away or buy something from Amazon or do something self-destructive. I didn’t do that this time around. The fact that it’s been 10 months since this happened shows how much my mental health has improved. For anyone going through this, understand that you’re not alone and it’s okay to feel how you feel. The important thing is to keep going because even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time, there will always be something in life to look forward to or get excited about. It could be new food to taste or that new album from your favorite artist that’s about to come out, or even seeing a rainbow after it rains.
Below are links for mental health resources:
Suicide Prevention Line:
Find a Therapist:
Understanding the Link between Borderline Personality Disorder and Suicide
I wrote this in May of 2003 when I was depressed. At the time, I didn’t think about getting help. I also didn’t understand what was happening to me. No one knew because I had become a master as masking my emotions. Instead poetry was my therapy.
The sadness creeps up on me
like a wild animal
upon its prey
Slowly but surely
I become all too quickly
I ponder the question
Why, why, WHY?
I am young and healthy
Yet I begin to feel
like I’m slipping on thin ice
and what scares me the most
I DON”T KNOW WHY?
I wrote this in January of 2003 about Lucas. I was still obsessing about him.
Your love was a lost cause
when it was her you chose
but at night I still toss and turn
wondering why it wasn’t me you yearned
Was it the hurtful fact?
You wanted to keep your life intact
Or was it because
I wasn’t good enough
To make the ultimate sacrifice
to leave your perfect and fake life
I wrote this in 2019 when I was reflecting about the way men have often objectified in a way that they almost always seem to just want the fun and sexy part of me but seem to often have problems seeing the rest of me. I’ve almost always felt like I’ve been good enough to be their lover but never good enough to be introduced to their mother. Do I still feel this way? I honestly don’t know. I like the attention and validation I get from men because of my looks but sometimes it feels so hollow.
Tell me I’m pretty, tell me I’m sexy
Tell me I’m beautiful
Objectify me, fuck me,
Forget about me
Try to come back to me
And when I deny
your lust filled request,
Put me down, threaten me
Try to hurt me-
Your words mean nothing to me
You’re not the first
But will be the last
Who tries to destroy me
You’re not the first
But will be the last
Who treats me like a doll
to fuck at your convenience
You’re not the first
But will be the last
That tells me I’m not good enough
Tell me you miss, tell me you want me
Tell me you’re sorry
Be persistent in your quest
In trying to get me in your bed
with empty promises
about how this time it will be different
Sorry to my past, my present, and
I am pass being the girl
that’s just used for fun-
I am pass being the lover
you never introduce to your mother
I’d rather live in a world
of solitude and calm
than to once again fall
into the objectification trap
I wrote this in 2002 about Matt. I think that the experience with him really put any residual abandonment issues from my childhood to the forefront. Interactions with him throughout my son’s childhood were hard emotionally for me for this reason.
We meet once again
And you pretend to be my friend
Like nothing ever happened
Like I forgot you never took a stand?
To be a father to our son
How can you be so damn dumb?
How could it have taken you so long?
To finally admit you were wrong
But I’ll forgive you
But I won’t ever forget the hell
you put us through
It can never go back
To the way we once were
I wrote this in June of 2002 about Ron. It was a rough breakup to say the least. He was definitely justified in his feelings of anger towards and to respond the way he did. While I won’t say whether or not I deserved the 5 scathing emails I received after filled with insults, pain, and hate, I’m glad he did it . Maybe it made him feel better and/or gave him a sense of closure. He wasn’t being crazy, he was being human.
Sorry to have broken your unwavering trust
but I had to get away from us
I never meant to hurt you
But our goodbye was long overdue
One of us had to do it eventually
Unfortunately it had be me
I hope one day you understand
Why our love,from day one was damned
And you’ll finally realize
My choice was really wise
I’m not sure which ex I wrote this about but this is the general feeling I have when a relationship is going well. My anxiety goes up and I catastrophized. This was written in 2000.
I am scared
That my heart will tear
I am worried
One day you’ll be sorry
I’m so frightened
It’s just a matter of when
I am just tired
After so many liars
My mind is stuck
Thinking you just want to fuck
I am careful
Trying to not end up a fool